Posted by MasterBrief (225 posts) -

Recently there was talk of what some believe is a new direction for Dark Souls 2. This is all because of the director saying he wants to make it more approachable and understandable. I don't think it is anything to get really crazy about because the original developer or maybe the creator, one of the two, is going to be overseeing the project. I could also see where they could make it more understandable in certain aspects of the game to make info more obtainable and so it explains more. Some items for example aren't explained in great detail. Also the addition of a bestiary would be cool, maybe giving a nod to Castlevania and hinting at possible weak points as well as a drop list that unlocks after obtaining said drop from that enemy. That's all I think the game really needs just some explaining on certain parts. The whole approachable part though, that just screams mainstream and easy. I don't think they need to touch the difficulty, after all that is what Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are known for.

I had Demon's Souls shortly after release and played it constantly and then picked up Dark Souls on release and found it slightly easier but not game breaking. I enjoyed the difficulty it required you to actually think and use a bit of strategy. It's funny that most of the people that complain about it play it thinking they can run in to horde of enemies like it's Dynasty Warriors or something. You have to be careful with what you do. I remember in Demon's Souls I had died in a tunnel before getting to the Armor Spider and got mobbed by the undead enemies. I was so careful getting back to my bloodstain and right as I went to get it an undead lunged through a cluster of worm exuvia and killed me. I lost near 75,000 souls which at that time was my peak. Still I very much enjoyed the difficulty of the game because it was genuine. There was no gimmick to it or cheapness just pure difficulty.

This seems like a trend though as more and more games coming out require less and less of you. Most games back in the day made you think, they had riddles and puzzles that you had to apply knowledge to. One series I am disappointed in is the Resident Evil series. I grew up with RE and the first 3 games were amazing they had that classic camera, awesome music, puzzles and sweet bosses. Then came 4, while still and excellent game it kickstarted the downfall. It had only a few puzzles with most of the game focusing on action. Then came 5 which pretty much abandoned everything, no puzzles at all except for the laser one, all action, and ridiculous action at that. It is a good game just a bad RE game to me. It's not survival horror.

When I think survival horror the main game that comes to mind is Amnesia. This is a game where you can't even attack and are trying to avoid monsters in a dark castle with stealth elements where it is easy to lose your sanity or die. RE 5 is all about killing zombies, mutants is closer. With RE 6 it is even more so. I have only played the demo and I enjoyed what I played as an action game but it really isn't a RE game.

I think the only real RE games outside of the main line is Outbreak 1 and 2 and in some respects they have better features such as bracing/barricading door, multiple characters and the item creation. I'm not saying the RE series shouldn't changing and advance with time but it did it in the wrong way as it didn't stay with it's genre. Other games do this too, they move away from their base as some game/book adaptions move far away from their source material. To me it just seems like they try to cash in on the shooter genre with a lot of games recently. Feel free to leave your thoughts.

#1 Posted by MasterBrief (225 posts) -

Recently there was talk of what some believe is a new direction for Dark Souls 2. This is all because of the director saying he wants to make it more approachable and understandable. I don't think it is anything to get really crazy about because the original developer or maybe the creator, one of the two, is going to be overseeing the project. I could also see where they could make it more understandable in certain aspects of the game to make info more obtainable and so it explains more. Some items for example aren't explained in great detail. Also the addition of a bestiary would be cool, maybe giving a nod to Castlevania and hinting at possible weak points as well as a drop list that unlocks after obtaining said drop from that enemy. That's all I think the game really needs just some explaining on certain parts. The whole approachable part though, that just screams mainstream and easy. I don't think they need to touch the difficulty, after all that is what Demon's Souls and Dark Souls are known for.

I had Demon's Souls shortly after release and played it constantly and then picked up Dark Souls on release and found it slightly easier but not game breaking. I enjoyed the difficulty it required you to actually think and use a bit of strategy. It's funny that most of the people that complain about it play it thinking they can run in to horde of enemies like it's Dynasty Warriors or something. You have to be careful with what you do. I remember in Demon's Souls I had died in a tunnel before getting to the Armor Spider and got mobbed by the undead enemies. I was so careful getting back to my bloodstain and right as I went to get it an undead lunged through a cluster of worm exuvia and killed me. I lost near 75,000 souls which at that time was my peak. Still I very much enjoyed the difficulty of the game because it was genuine. There was no gimmick to it or cheapness just pure difficulty.

This seems like a trend though as more and more games coming out require less and less of you. Most games back in the day made you think, they had riddles and puzzles that you had to apply knowledge to. One series I am disappointed in is the Resident Evil series. I grew up with RE and the first 3 games were amazing they had that classic camera, awesome music, puzzles and sweet bosses. Then came 4, while still and excellent game it kickstarted the downfall. It had only a few puzzles with most of the game focusing on action. Then came 5 which pretty much abandoned everything, no puzzles at all except for the laser one, all action, and ridiculous action at that. It is a good game just a bad RE game to me. It's not survival horror.

When I think survival horror the main game that comes to mind is Amnesia. This is a game where you can't even attack and are trying to avoid monsters in a dark castle with stealth elements where it is easy to lose your sanity or die. RE 5 is all about killing zombies, mutants is closer. With RE 6 it is even more so. I have only played the demo and I enjoyed what I played as an action game but it really isn't a RE game.

I think the only real RE games outside of the main line is Outbreak 1 and 2 and in some respects they have better features such as bracing/barricading door, multiple characters and the item creation. I'm not saying the RE series shouldn't changing and advance with time but it did it in the wrong way as it didn't stay with it's genre. Other games do this too, they move away from their base as some game/book adaptions move far away from their source material. To me it just seems like they try to cash in on the shooter genre with a lot of games recently. Feel free to leave your thoughts.

#2 Posted by Jace (1093 posts) -

Haha, boy TL;DR doesn't quite say it.

#3 Posted by MasterBrief (225 posts) -

@Jace said:

Haha, boy TL;DR doesn't quite say it.

I had to look that up to find out what it meant. Dick lol

#4 Posted by CaptainCharisma (339 posts) -

Just edit your post and break it up into smaller paragraphs. Walls of text are never fun to read.

#5 Posted by Slag (4734 posts) -

Accessibility and easy are not necessarily one and the same. Although game companies do conflate the two at times.

The old side scrolling shooters like Contra series were accessible as hell but not what I'd call easy. Ninja Gaiden would be another series like that. One of the toughest games I ever played (Ghosts and Goblins) was real easy to understand how to play but damn was it super hard to beat.

I would say some added accessibility would probably help the Souls series quite a bit. They are a bit intimidating to get into. There is so much that isn't explained or explained well. A lot of stuff that I don't think you could reasonably expect a mainstream player to ever grasp unaided.

#6 Posted by believer258 (12098 posts) -

I think by "accessible", he means "easier to grasp the basics of". Not necessarily "easier to play".
So if Dark Souls 2 includes an easy mode but Normal is still balls-hard, how does that hurt the people who like Normal?

Online
#7 Posted by ZeForgotten (10397 posts) -
@believer258 said:
I think by "accessible", he means "easier to grasp the basics of". Not necessarily "easier to play". So if Dark Souls 2 includes an easy mode but Normal is still balls-hard, how does that hurt the people who like Normal?
Pretty much.  
It's like people think they're forced to play on Easy Mode because it's there, but here's a fun fact for them that even their feeble brains will be able to comprehend. You don't have too! Woo! (let's hope they get it now) 
 
And easier to grasp just means "When you hover over the different attributes and items and so on. the text will make fucking sense and the menus won't be so terrible either" 
#8 Posted by MasterBrief (225 posts) -

@Slag said:

Accessibility and easy are not necessarily one and the same. Although game companies do conflate the two at times.

The old side scrolling shooters like Contra series were accessible as hell but not what I'd call easy. Ninja Gaiden would be another series like that. One of the toughest games I ever played (Ghosts and Goblins) was real easy to understand how to play but damn was it super hard to beat.

I would say some added accessibility would probably help the Souls series quite a bit. They are a bit intimidating to get into. There is so much that isn't explained or explained well. A lot of stuff that I don't think you could reasonably expect a mainstream player to ever grasp unaided.

What I meant was that when I see someone say 'accessible' in today's game industry, it makes me think mainstream and easy or that it will hold your hand. Filled with waypoints and tools you get straight away to help instead of having you figure things out. I guess the best example is like in Silent Hill: Downpour where if there is an item you need, they put it everywhere. Last stretch of the game is loaded with shotguns. Stuff like that making the game easier instead of believing the gamer can use common sense and wits to figure things out.

#9 Posted by MasterBrief (225 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I think by "accessible", he means "easier to grasp the basics of". Not necessarily "easier to play". So if Dark Souls 2 includes an easy mode but Normal is still balls-hard, how does that hurt the people who like Normal?

Both actually. By accessible and approachable I get that, that they mean a little easier to understand, to get used to. By accessible it makes me think it's going to be easier difficulty wise and going to hold your hand more with certain things, like a waypoint system or something. I honestly don't care if they add an easier mode as long as you can choose. I found Demon's Souls a tad easier, but not much in certain areas and there was no difficulty setting or mode selection to choose from. That's what I don't want to happen as it just becomes the default.

#10 Posted by Soapy86 (2638 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I think by "accessible", he means "easier to grasp the basics of". Not necessarily "easier to play". So if Dark Souls 2 includes an easy mode but Normal is still balls-hard, how does that hurt the people who like Normal?

It hurts the people who like normal because if adding an easy mode to the game increases sales substantially, then they'll want to continue dumbing the series down in the future to drive sales ever higher.

#11 Posted by csl316 (9249 posts) -

If I don't have to go online to learn how the systems work, I'll play one of these games.

Despite the fact that I think they're clunky (and I beat the first area of Demon's Souls without dying, so I'm not using that as an excuse or something). The art style and boss designs just speak to me for some reason.

#12 Posted by MasterBrief (225 posts) -

@csl316 said:

If I don't have to go online to learn how the systems work, I'll play one of these games. Despite the fact that I think they're clunky (and I beat the first area of Demon's Souls without dying, so I'm not using that as an excuse or something). The art style and boss designs just speak to me for some reason.

See I told a friend of mine about Demon's Souls back when it came out, he came over and I showed it to him, he just watched me didn't play it. I think he ended up getting it for christmas and he hates it. The controls, the layout everything. Could you tell me exactly what 'systems' you are talking about so I can understand. You talking the menus or what?

#13 Posted by MasterBrief (225 posts) -

@Soapy86 said:

@believer258 said:

I think by "accessible", he means "easier to grasp the basics of". Not necessarily "easier to play". So if Dark Souls 2 includes an easy mode but Normal is still balls-hard, how does that hurt the people who like Normal?

It hurts the people who like normal because if adding an easy mode to the game increases sales substantially, then they'll want to continue dumbing the series down in the future to drive sales ever higher.

Exactly. I don't mind the option for an easy mode but if they added it as default and it sold better they would most likely start catering to every complaint in the game. It takes too many Titanite Shards to reinforce this spear, Titanite Slabs are too hard to find it goes on and on and on. The only huge complaint I had was about Demon's Souls and it's world tendency. From what I understood that depended on certain events and it was really weird and also online it could shift due to other players so that makes it really hard to get certain items or fight certain enemies that only show up with white or black tendency. I think you could just go offline and it would go to your offline one but still a better system for that would've been nice because it was a cool feature.

#14 Edited by laserbolts (5349 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I think by "accessible", he means "easier to grasp the basics of". Not necessarily "easier to play".
So if Dark Souls 2 includes an easy mode but Normal is still balls-hard, how does that hurt the people who like Normal?

There is already an easy mode to Dark Souls. The game can be extremely easy if you use magic or summon help. The base difficulty drives some people to depend on summons but in doing so they become targets for PVP invaders. If they add a seperate easy mode I hope it doesnt eliminate this part of the game. Not sure how they will handle PVP in the next game though. After reading the Edge interview I went from excited to meh.

#15 Posted by csl316 (9249 posts) -
@MasterBrief said:

@csl316 said:

If I don't have to go online to learn how the systems work, I'll play one of these games. Despite the fact that I think they're clunky (and I beat the first area of Demon's Souls without dying, so I'm not using that as an excuse or something). The art style and boss designs just speak to me for some reason.

See I told a friend of mine about Demon's Souls back when it came out, he came over and I showed it to him, he just watched me didn't play it. I think he ended up getting it for christmas and he hates it. The controls, the layout everything. Could you tell me exactly what 'systems' you are talking about so I can understand. You talking the menus or what?

I'll name one from each. 
 
Demon's Souls - World Tendency.  People that put a dozen hours into it still didn't have a full grasp of it (at least, the ones I talked to).
Dark Souls - Humanity/Undeadness. 
 
I looked into them later for the hell of it, but it seems like the game doesn't tell you much.  Apparently the community figuring things out is part of the fun... but explaining things inside the game would be handy.
 
And if I want a challenging game, I'll just ramp up Bayonetta or an FPS on hard.   Or play some indie games.
#16 Posted by MasterBrief (225 posts) -

@csl316 said:

@MasterBrief said:

@csl316 said:

If I don't have to go online to learn how the systems work, I'll play one of these games. Despite the fact that I think they're clunky (and I beat the first area of Demon's Souls without dying, so I'm not using that as an excuse or something). The art style and boss designs just speak to me for some reason.

See I told a friend of mine about Demon's Souls back when it came out, he came over and I showed it to him, he just watched me didn't play it. I think he ended up getting it for christmas and he hates it. The controls, the layout everything. Could you tell me exactly what 'systems' you are talking about so I can understand. You talking the menus or what?

I'll name one from each. Demon's Souls - World Tendency. People that put a dozen hours into it still didn't have a full grasp of it (at least, the ones I talked to). Dark Souls - Humanity/Undeadness. I looked into them later for the hell of it, but it seems like the game doesn't tell you much. Apparently the community figuring things out is part of the fun... but explaining things inside the game would be handy. And if I want a challenging game, I'll just ramp up Bayonetta or an FPS on hard. Or play some indie games.

Ok true world tendency is a little confusing. It is basically the world's state, with certain feats which I think is just killing certain enemies and NPCs the tendency will change. With that each tendency will have certain things happen like a new NPC being somewhere. One I know is the executioner chick will be in this pit right to the left of the first level with all the steps up. That gate will only open with I think black tendency. The manual vaguely explains this and I agree it is confusing.

The humanity is I believe kind of useless in Dark Souls. Basically you can only summon when you are human, you get a boost to finding items/rare items with the more humanity you have (which is the number on the left of your health) also there is a chaos element to add to weapons and it will increase in damage with the more humanity you have. You also have to have it to become human and I think that's about it just little perks, not like getting your whole health back in Demon's Souls when you restored which is another thing I disliked since you would have half life if you were in soul form and now there is really no penalty for being undead. I think you take more damage while undead maybe more fire damage not sure and you can summon or get those other perks that's about it. The manual does explain all that and I know people don't really read them anymore plus half the games don't even have them anymore because they are loaded with tutorials, which is another point to my argument. Yes though you have valid questions and that is what I meant by in the next game maybe explaining stuff better or having a tome in your menu or options where you go to a certain feature and it explains it, certain MMOs have this or in Castlevania HD they have an extensive one that covers just about everything.

#17 Posted by believer258 (12098 posts) -

@MasterBrief said:

@Soapy86 said:

@believer258 said:

I think by "accessible", he means "easier to grasp the basics of". Not necessarily "easier to play". So if Dark Souls 2 includes an easy mode but Normal is still balls-hard, how does that hurt the people who like Normal?

It hurts the people who like normal because if adding an easy mode to the game increases sales substantially, then they'll want to continue dumbing the series down in the future to drive sales ever higher.

Exactly. I don't mind the option for an easy mode but if they added it as default and it sold better they would most likely start catering to every complaint in the game. It takes too many Titanite Shards to reinforce this spear, Titanite Slabs are too hard to find it goes on and on and on. The only huge complaint I had was about Demon's Souls and it's world tendency. From what I understood that depended on certain events and it was really weird and also online it could shift due to other players so that makes it really hard to get certain items or fight certain enemies that only show up with white or black tendency. I think you could just go offline and it would go to your offline one but still a better system for that would've been nice because it was a cool feature.

But if that were true, then Halo Reach and Gears of War 3 and Black Ops, some of the most popular games this generation, would be very easy even on their hardest difficulties. Why can't easy mode require less Titanite Shards and make Slabs easier to find, but Normal or Hard make them just as difficult as the current Dark Souls?

No, I have not played Dark Souls, but it seems like the sheer dedication the developers have to difficulty is proof that they can make an easier mode for the people who don't want their spirits crushed time and time again, while still maintaining the "proper" way to play Dark Souls in the default difficulty.

Online
#18 Posted by Arabes (345 posts) -

The people who finish Dark souls etc. like to know that by finishing that game they have accomplished something challenging that most gamers will never do. If you give that game an easy mode that's really easy then every fucking fool will play it and finish it and the people who are dedicated to it will feel like their accomplishment doesn't mean very much. There was also a real community buzz around figuring out what the those fucking crazy games were even about and I think a lot of people loved that aspect of them as well.

I never played Dark Souls or Demon Souls but when I think of franchises that I loved, lets say Hitman and Resident Evil and I look at what was done to them in the name of making them accessible it makes me fucking sick. The last incarnations of both those series were fucking shit. Jesus Christ, you've got to wonder who let those fucking things out on the street.

It makes business sense and fuck it, every developer wants to make giant wads of cash but as a fan, if a game is rock hard and I love it, I don't want it to be made any more fucking accessible, it's just fine the way it is.

#19 Posted by JZ (2125 posts) -

Look at mass effect 3, dragon age 2, re6, hitman absolution, and to a lesser extent assassin's creed 3. That's the problem.

#20 Posted by Slag (4734 posts) -

@MasterBrief said:

What I meant was that when I see someone say 'accessible' in today's game industry, it makes me think mainstream and easy or that it will hold your hand. Filled with waypoints and tools you get straight away to help instead of having you figure things out. I guess the best example is like in Silent Hill: Downpour where if there is an item you need, they put it everywhere. Last stretch of the game is loaded with shotguns. Stuff like that making the game easier instead of believing the gamer can use common sense and wits to figure things out.

But you also don't know if that's how Neversoft means it.

If you're right and they do put in waymarkers, in-level tutorials, powerleveling ease etc in the Souls games I completely agree with you that would be a tragedy, but let's not jump to conclusions here.

These guys made this game hard to begin with probably because that's how they like to make games and I'm sure they know that half the appeal to these games is that they are considered "tough". Would any of us even notice this series if it wasn't so hardcore? I doubt it.

So I suspect their version of accessibility is not going to be what happened to Zelda, Hitman or Mass Effect etc.

All I'm saying is that it shouldn't be hard to know how to play Dark Souls, which I think is a legitimate criticism of the series. Heck even the Giantbomb quicklook Vinny and Brad seemed to barely have an idea of what the basic mechanics even were.

The challenge should come from being able to actually do it (and do it well enough to win).

#21 Posted by MasterBrief (225 posts) -

@Slag said:

@MasterBrief said:

What I meant was that when I see someone say 'accessible' in today's game industry, it makes me think mainstream and easy or that it will hold your hand. Filled with waypoints and tools you get straight away to help instead of having you figure things out. I guess the best example is like in Silent Hill: Downpour where if there is an item you need, they put it everywhere. Last stretch of the game is loaded with shotguns. Stuff like that making the game easier instead of believing the gamer can use common sense and wits to figure things out.

But you also don't know if that's how Neversoft means it.

If you're right and they do put in waymarkers, in-level tutorials, powerleveling ease etc in the Souls games I completely agree with you that would be a tragedy, but let's not jump to conclusions here.

These guys made this game hard to begin with probably because that's how they like to make games and I'm sure they know that half the appeal to these games is that they are considered "tough". Would any of us even notice this series if it wasn't so hardcore? I doubt it.

So I suspect their version of accessibility is not going to be what happened to Zelda, Hitman or Mass Effect etc.

All I'm saying is that it shouldn't be hard to know how to play Dark Souls, which I think is a legitimate criticism of the series. Heck even the Giantbomb quicklook Vinny and Brad seemed to barely have an idea of what the basic mechanics even were.

The challenge should come from being able to actually do it (and do it well enough to win).

I'm not jumping to conclusions I was actually speaking to that point and that I could see where they would think that and why it would suck. I don't think they will make it all straight easy. They made them hard on purpose and I don't think that will change. I do think that they could add stuff in that makes things easier to do aside from actual enemy difficulty and difficulty to survive. Also what does Neversoft have to do with this?

#22 Posted by Sploder (917 posts) -

I think the inclusion of an easy mode would be a good thing. The hard difficulty and gameplay is not what draws me into the Souls games, it's the fantastic art direction and game world that you get to explore, combined with the environmental storytelling that leaves a lot open to interpretation. Would a lower difficulty setting for someone like me who appreciates the games for entirely different reasons be such a bad thing?

#23 Posted by UlquioKani (1162 posts) -

I would love to play a Dark Souls with better tutorials about how to do so with an explanation on why you want to play it

#24 Posted by MasterBrief (225 posts) -

@UlquioKani: haha good one

#25 Posted by Slag (4734 posts) -

@MasterBrief said:

I'm not jumping to conclusions I was actually speaking to that point and that I could see where they would think that and why it would suck. I don't think they will make it all straight easy. They made them hard on purpose and I don't think that will change. I do think that they could add stuff in that makes things easier to do aside from actual enemy difficulty and difficulty to survive. Also what does Neversoft have to do with this?

Nothing at all. The Neversoft thing is because I'm an idiot and got them confused with From for God knows why. I have no idea why I did that. That's my mistake

as for the rest I guess I also misinterpreted what your intent was with the initial post, as it seems like we actually mostly agree. (I think this statement lead to my confusion fwiw)

The whole approachable part though, that just screams mainstream and easy.

either way I don't think there's enough info to get worried about this possibility of dumbing down the Souls series yet.

#26 Posted by MasterBrief (225 posts) -

@Sploder said:

I think the inclusion of an easy mode would be a good thing. The hard difficulty and gameplay is not what draws me into the Souls games, it's the fantastic art direction and game world that you get to explore, combined with the environmental storytelling that leaves a lot open to interpretation. Would a lower difficulty setting for someone like me who appreciates the games for entirely different reasons be such a bad thing?

Not at all as long as the option remains for the people like the harder difficulty.

#27 Posted by UlquioKani (1162 posts) -

@MasterBrief: I'm not joking, I'm not really sure what the incentive to play the game actually is. I played about 5 hours making what felt like no progress and all the while not having any fun. I think it's personal taste for me though